NAIAS 2015: BMW May Introduce AWD to M Division, No M Supercar In Future
With Mercedes-AMG models delivering their power to the road through all four wheels, BMW is considering doing the same for most of its M division. However, if anyone was hoping the Bavarians would also bring back the M1, you can breathe now.
AutoGuide reports BMW has no plans to add an AWD system to the M3 and M4, since the additional weight of such a system would offset any gains the engineers made to shed weight on the two models.
However, for M models above the two, such as the M5 or M6, M Division product management chief Carsten Pries says if his division sees “further increases in terms of horsepower in segments above the M3 and M4,” AWD could be a possibility.
As far as an M1 or i8-based M8 goes, though, he says such a proposition is “very exciting” and “lucrative,” such an effort wouldn’t make sense on either a technical or commercial level. Instead, the focus is on bringing in more profit with models like the M135i, and those from the M Sport range:
[Cars like these] clearly give us an indication of how much demand there is to go up from a top model BMW model into the exclusive products of BMW M. Customers say ‘I want even more of this very emotional experience,’ and they ideally end up with an M Sport and then an M core model.
A new M1 would never look as good as the original, so meh.
A 2017 M1 would have a 18-speed triple-clutch transmission, 800 pounds of batteries, three electric motors and even more electronic gagaws than have already been thought up. The only thing that the original M1 had that a new one wouldn't is steering feel and a joyful driving experience.
This may not be a popular opinion but there is no reason to build s successor to the M1 which was designed to raise BMWs profile in motorsport. For the road it was about as comfortable as a Porsche 922 GT3-RS which is super low volume niche of a niche product. Today BMW doesn't need to raise its motosport profile or invest in a slow selling model. For those looking for "built for the track" cars there already is plenty of choice including the Z/28, Z06 and Porsche GT3s. It was a wise choice by BMW to invest in the future with the i8 rather than try to relive the past.
Can we please not revert back to 1970s bright gold cars? There were at least two or three examples of this at NAIAS.